Hot Water Music - Till The Wheels Fall Off
No Idea Records
Hot Water Music is easily in my top two bands of all time. When I first heard Forever and Counting when I was in tenth grade, I was hooked. The dual gruff vocals, melodic yet aggressive guitars, and tight rhythm section. The lyrics that focused more on the personal politics and the world around you. This was everything punk rock should be, and I've tried to include at least something from Hot Water Music into every band I've been i. wwhwmd?
So, as you can imagine, when Hot Water Music announced their hiatus, then subsequent break up, I was crushed. I owned everything they released (aside from one full length). I have a Hot Water Music chest piece. Unfortunately, for whatever reasons, I only got to see them a handful of times, which was something I've always regretted. When I heard they were finally releasing a last b-sides collection, AND playing shows, I was beyond stoked.
Reading below will give you a review of the show, but here I'll talk about the new collection/record. This a collection of random splits (Alkaline Trio and Leatherface), 7 inches, EPs (Moonpies for Misfits), comp tracks, and a handful of random covers. It kicks off with "Kill The Night" and the line "It's hard to rest right with a different pillow every night, still I close my eyes and dream I'll make it home." This song almost made Chuck decision to leave the band blatantly obvious. Either way, it's a great song in the later style of Hot Water Music.
From there, the first major batch of familiar songs is the split with Alkaline Trio. "God Deciding" is easily one of the best Hot Water songs, and the two covers of the Trio are both fantastic. I still have memories of walking home in the snow during college on a bleak day, and Chuck's version of "Bleeder" seemed to be the perfect soundtrack for the moment. Straight from this, the songs from the Leatherface split come on. These are some of the best HWM songs in my opinion. The vocals are as husky as they get, and the lyrical content deals with struggle, and having the strength to overcome. "Take It As It Comes" is yet another of my favorite HWM songs.
After this comes three covers by Government Issue, Midnight Oil, and Turbonegro. All are great, even though the Turbonegro song was a definite surprise. The Moonpies for Misfits EP follows, which is an old favorite of most HWM fans. The collection ends with four outrageously solid covers: The Circle Jerks ("Wild in the Streets"), The Boss ("No Surrender"), and The Clash ("The Clampdown"). Most importantly, and my personal favorite of the bunch, is "Springtime" by Leatherface. This was on the Live at the Hardback release, and I always loved it. It's nice to hear a proper studio recording, and they certainly do it justice.
Overall, even though it's not new, and I've heard a lot of it, it's nice to have it all in one place and to have all of the covers. Hopefully this reunion isn't fleeting, and we'll have more new music from Hot Water Music.